IYF: The fate of the world’s forests predicted for 2011

Omniclimate is predicting 2011 climate events. Looks like Judith Curry has to weather more criticism. He says:

The nastiest criticisms by rabid AGWers will be thrown in the direction of Curry

Some of his other predictions include:

Scientifically speaking, there will not be any breakthrough in climate science

My predictions

2011, let us remember, is the International Year of Forests. This means, we will be treated to a veritable cornucopia of exaggerations and lamentations about the ‘vulnerability’ of forests worldwide.

Specific numerical claims which are at the same time vague, about this or that forest — “50% of the Indonesian will be affected…”, “40% of the African rainforest will disappear…”, “100% of the Amazon rainforest…” — will pop up at international conferences and expert talks that will take place at several venues around the world. Environmental pressure groups and perhaps the peer-reviewed literature, will incorporate or originate such quantitative claims about the ‘world’s forests’.

A good number of these claims will percolate and find their way into the next IPCC assessment report. The IPCC’s spanking new media and communications unit will then robotically defend such claims.

Basis for predictions: the precedent

The precedent is already there. Let us trace the chain of evidence the last time something like this happened.

Similar to what is declared now, 2002 was the International year of Mountains. In June 2002, predictions that Himalayan glaciers will melt and cause disastrous flooding were made at a conference keynote speech in Berchtesgaden, Germany [1]. The speech was made by Binayak Bhadra, then the chairman of Nepal’s  International Centre for Integrated Mountain Development (ICIMOD) – an institute that studies Himalayan glaciers. A summary of their findings about glacial lake outburst floods, reproducing the claim about global warming melting the glaciers can be found in this article titled “Global warming triggers glacial lakes flood threat“.

These claims found their way into the summary for policy makers (SPM) of the IPCC.

Glacier melt in the Himalayas is projected to increase flooding, and rock avalanches from destabilised slopes, and to affect water resources within the next two to three decades. This will be followed by decreased river flows as the glaciers recede.

Obviously it has picked up a deadline for such Himalayan melting from its cousin – the now-discredited Himalayan glacier howler.

References:

[1] Bhadra, B., 2002: Regional cooperation for sustainable development of Hindu Kush Himalaya region: opportunities and challenges. Paper presented at the Alpine Experience – An Approach for other Mountain Regions, Berchtesgaden.


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2 comments

  1. Sean

    The real irony for the “international year of the forest” is that biomass combustion for renewable energy will see harvesting of forests to make firewood and take carbon credits for re-planting clear cut areas.